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On Thursday morning, August 5, at approximately 9:30 a.m., a woman’s cries were heard in the Mission Center Road parking lot of the Ralphs grocery store.

"Help me! Call 911!" she yelled as concerned shoppers ran toward the small SUV that had abruptly stopped in front of the store. A man passing by immediately assisted a man out of the passenger seat and laid him down on the ground. Other passersby offered comfort and, one person gave the 30-something man a blanket.

The victim was in the throes of a seizure, and his eyes were rolling back in his head. His body stiffened and then jerked wildly. Soon, a fire truck and ambulance rolled up into the driveway and, as the woman (who turned out to be his mother) watched, emergency aid was rendered.

Eventually, the man was stabilized enough so that he was able to utter a few words, then he was lifted onto a gurney and transported to a hospital.

A male witness said, "[I] work in a hospital and see this all the time — it's a grand mal seizure." But after I ran into Ralphs to purchase something, I strode up to the lingering fire truck and greeted the female firefighter. I inquired if the victim had suffered an epileptic seizure, and she told me, "No, he was in the throes of alcohol withdrawal."

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